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IRAQ - May 8 - US Seeks End To UN Sanctions.

US Ambassador to the UN John Negroponte announces in New York that the UN Security Council members will receive a proposed draft resolution lifting the 13-year-old economic sanctions against Baghdad on May 9. He adds that he hopes the Council will approve the measure "as soon as possible. June 3 is the outer limit". June 3 is the date that the authorisation for the current oil-for-aid programme, through which the UN controls more than $13 bn in Iraqi oil revenues, expires. Negroponte says: "There's no reason why a resolution lifting sanctions on Iraq should take a prolonged period to discuss. We're certainly hopeful that everyone's going to enter into this discussion in a constructive and forward-looking spirit". The draft resolution, council diplomats said, would make a few concessions to the interests of the US recent antagonists, France and Russia, but would leave Iraq's political and financial levers in the control of coalition forces and the interim authority being formed with their approval. Left unmentioned in the draft are UN weapons inspection teams, diplomats said. While making no specific reference to the contents of the resolution, Negroponte said the US saw no role for those inspectors in Iraq "for the foreseeable future". The draft resolution allows for a partial payout of the existing $10 bn in approved contracts for food, medicine and industrial goods authorised by the UN before the war. It also would allow for a UN special representative, who would act as a nominal partner in the political reconstruction. The two moves seem designed to solicit Russian and French support - Russia's because of the $1.5 bn in outstanding approved contracts that Russian companies held with the Iraqi government, and France's with the offer of a UN role that US State Secretary Colin Powell continued to call "vital".
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:May 10, 2003
Previous Article:IRAQ - May 8 - Two US Servicemen Killed.
Next Article:IRAQ - May 9 - US, UK & Spain Ask UN To Lift Sanctions.

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